Presidential elections usually come with an "October surprise," but when it comes to Donald Trump, there is a "surprise every day," and American Conservative Union chairman Matt Schlapp said Monday it seems like the constantly changing news is being done to discredit the GOP presidential nominee.
"There is so much being thrown out there, most of it seems like it's being done in a way to just try to make Donald Trump seem like it's illegitimate to even consider voting for him," Schlapp told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program.
However, the tactic may not be working, Schlapp said, because many people are tuning out the news updates, as they have already decided to vote for Trump.
"They feel morally judged and that somehow there's something wrong with that, and they're starting to tune out," said Schlapp. "It's like, 'Look, I want to send the ultimate screw you message to Washington. He is the best guy to do that, and I'm sticking with him.'"
Schlapp, though, said he does not know if someone like Trump could "ever be a victim," responding to the candidate's own claim at a North Carolina rally on Friday, when he called himself a "victim of one of the great political smear campaigns in the history of our country."
Trump has also said he believes the election has been "rigged," and Schlapp agreed that there is "more subjectivity to elections" than many people realize.
Schlapp, an ex-political director for former President George W. Bush, noted that he spent 36 days in Florida during the 2000 vote recount in the contest between Bush and Al Gore, but at the same time said he thinks "all of us understand whoever wins on Election Day is the winner."
To that end, he said he'd like to see Trump get above 45 percent of the vote next month, but pointed out former President Bill Clinton won twice without getting to 50 percent.
"I don't know if I have a hard number . . . I don't think he [Trump] is going to get above 50 [percent]," said Schlapp.
If Trump loses the election, though, Schlapp said he thinks it would be "foolish" to turn his supporters away, as they may be the key to finally winning battleground states.
"We used to call them Reagan Democrats, blue-collar working class folks and others, people who are just disgruntled over the fact that they want Republicans to fight harder against the Obama agenda," said Schlapp.
"I never viewed this as simply a Trump phenomenon. I viewed it as Trump being a smart political entrepreneur like he is in business. He saw something happening."
And as a result, Republicans now stand to win battleground states, and disgruntled voters are the "only way to get there."
Trump, he admitted, is "running the most unorthodox presidential campaign we've ever seen," but for Republicans who have seen the "Clinton political machine."
"The Clintons always smile and they look very calm and they're very well scripted but underneath, they have a heck of an attack machine that goes after their opponents," said Schlapp.
Trump, though, tackles attacks himself, from his own mouth or on Twitter, and some Americans find that "authentic" as he tells how he feels about matters.
Schlapp would not justify Trump's comments about women, which he personally finds "reprehensible," as does his wife, Fox News contributor and columnist Mercedes Schlapp.
"I happen to be married to a rather fiery Latina who has opinions," said Schlapp. "She is going to vote for Donald Trump. I'll let her speak for herself, but she's going to vote for Donald Trump."
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